Switching to a cloud infrastructure can result in substantial savings. However, if you want the transition to be successful, you should invest those savings in ensuring your workers are happy, rather than just trying to enhance the immediate bottom line.
Multiple monitors picture from Shutterstock
That's the advice of Iain Rouse, the R&D director for Australian software developer Technology One. TechnologyOne has shifted all of its operations for 1000 staff, including 300 developers, onto an entirely cloud-based infrastructure. It now operates in four of Amazon Web Service's regions — Sydney, Singapore, Ireland and Japan — as part of a plan to grow its offshore revenue. (Currently 15 per cent of its revenue comes from offshore, but it wants to lift that to 50 per cent.)
Supporting staff through the shift required careful planning and investment. "We were careful about designing a carrot and a stick without too many thorns in it to encourage the transition," Rouse said. "Reusing those savings to provide a better outcome was critical. It's not banked — we just ploughed it into making this a better place to work."
The big change that happened amongst TechnologyOne's developers after it shifted to cloud operation came now in what they used, but the hardware they wanted. "They no longer want powerful desktops. Our staff now want multiple monitors."
While non-development staff may not want multiple monitors, ensuring their experience improves always makes sense. That's worth investing short-term savings in.